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Young children can overcome their weak inhibitory control, if they conceptualize a task in the right way

Simpson, A and Carroll, DJ (2018) 'Young children can overcome their weak inhibitory control, if they conceptualize a task in the right way.' Cognition, 170. 270 - 279. ISSN 0010-0277

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Abstract

This article investigates the process of task conceptualization, through which participants turn the instructions on a task into a mental representation of that task. We provide the first empirical evidence that this process of conceptualization can directly influence the inhibitory demands of a task. Data from Experiments 1 and 2 (both n = 24) suggested that robust difficulties on inhibitory tasks can be overcome if preschoolers conceptualize the tasks in a way that avoids the need for inhibitory control. Experiment 3 (n = 60) demonstrated that even when all other aspects of a task are identical, simply changing how the rules are introduced can influence whether such a conceptualization is adopted – thereby influencing children’s performance on the task. An appreciation of the process of conceptualization is essential for our understanding of how inhibitory control and knowledge interact in early development.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Executive function, Inhibitory control, Task conceptualisation, Conceptual Knowledge, Development
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2017 12:06
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2018 02:00
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20633

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